Gen Z is a generation defined by their diversity. 20% identify as LGBT+ and only 52% are white, rates far more diverse than previous generations. Currently aged 10-22, (1995-2010) members of Gen Z are just now beginning to enter the consumer market. By 2031 Gen Z’s income is projected to overtake millennials and reach over a quarter of all global income.
This means that Gen Z is only garnering a greater and greater influence on the economy. In trying to capture this younger market , brands must understand how much Gen Z values morality and personal principles when making brand choices. 92% of Gen Z prefer products that promote sustainability, 87% prefer inclusivity, and 90% prefer ethical business practices at large.
In practice, this means 73% of Gen Z consumers will pay more for sustainable products. As much as 54% even said they would pay more than a 10% increase. Also, 87% believe there should be better gender inclusion in the fashion industry. Brands that work towards that goal will be more supported.
It’s not just support that Gen Z offers though, social exclusion and outcry is also an extremely powerful tool for this generation. Any companies or brands that are seen as sexist, racist, homophobic, or that have past scandals or controversy won’t just not be bought from, they’ll be publicly shamed.
Only 36% of Gen Z say they have any loyalty to a brand. In general Gen Z has lower trust in institutions, the media, and the government at large. Members of Gen Z have no issue speaking out against powerful corporations and entities.
In trying to speak to Gen Z though, it seems social media may be a new potent force. Now one of the dominant ways members of Gen Z not only get their news, but spend their free time, reaching out through social media may be a new and powerful tool.
Gen Z is a generation of distrust and stringent moral values. Brands that want to occupy what will soon be the most active consumer generation will have to learn to satisfy those values. Luckily, more than half of Gen Z research the products they buy, having a clean and well marketed moral brand could make or break future companies.